0

New reports on Fraser River flood risk released

BC Government Online News Source: Newsroom

VICTORIA – Two new reports released today will help planners and engineers in developing strategies to manage increased flood risk along the Fraser River.

The report, Fraser River Design Flood Level Update – Hope to Mission, provides diking authorities with updated design flood levels in comparison with crest levels of 15 dikes in the Hope to Mission reach. All but one dike are too low.

Many of these dikes were originally constructed in the 1970s and ‘80s to design levels established to meet the largest flood flow on record from 1894. Some sections of the 146 kilometres of dikes were upgraded over the years, but new modelling calibrated with data from the 2012 freshet found most of the dikes to be too low, and confirmed that renewed efforts are needed to protect the upper Fraser Valley from flooding.

The report, Simulating the Effects of Sea Level Rise and Climate Change on Fraser River Flood Scenarios, uses models to replicate possible effects of climate change-related sea level rise and increased flows on Fraser River flood levels.

The study area includes 170 kilometres along the Fraser from Hope to the river mouth, including the densely populated Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver regions. The report indicates the magnitude and frequency of large floods will significantly increase due to sea level rise and climate change. The report notes that by the end of this century, a 50-year flood could be similar in magnitude to floods that currently have a return period of 200 or 500 years.

The ministry last released a report on the potential effects of sea level rise and climate change in December 2012. The ministry regularly releases studies and updated modelling information as it becomes available to assist those involved in infrastructure planning and flood mitigation.

Results from the two reports can be used to support flood risk management, and floodplain development and dike upgrade planning. Important next steps involve all levels of government working together to develop a regional flood protection strategy that prioritizes high-risk areas.

To view or download copies of the latest reports, visit the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations’ Flood Safety Section web page at: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wsd/public_safety/flood/fhm-2012/draw_report.html#8 

 

Media Contact:

Greig Bethel
Media Relations
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
250 356-5261

0

New Report Shows Cities Realize Economic Benefits of Taking Actions to Protect Against Climate Change Impacts

city-solutions-header1

According to National Geographic News Watch, C40, its partner CDP and AECOM released Protecting Our Capital, a new report that highlights the risks climate change poses to businesses in cities – and shows how city government climate adaptation actions are contributing to business resilience.

Of the 207 cities surveyed in the report, 75 percent report that climate change impacts threaten the stability of their local economies. However, more than 75 percent of cities also recognize there are financial benefits in taking action to minimize the impacts of climate change.

The C40 continues to partner on these types of essential reports to better inform the global dialog on these critical issues. Reports like this one also help shape the work of the organization and the efforts of our member cities. Sharing and analyzing information on this issue is of increasing importance for C40 cities, who benefit from understanding the best practices and experiences of other cities in order to improve their own sustainability programmes and target climate change adaptation actions.

“The need to understand and act upon climate risk is a growing priority,” said Kerem Yilmaz, C40 head of research. “That’s why these cities are taking steps right now to help create more climate-resilient communities, economies and infrastructure.  Their commitment to measuring and reporting on this critical issue is accelerating action by enabling cities to identify common challenges and work together to spur and implement solutions.”

To read the full report, click here.

To read the press release, click here.

Posted by C40 News Team in City Solutions on July 10, 2014

0

New Study Adds Up the Benefits of Climate-Smart Development in Lives, Jobs, and GDP

Rapid transit - world bank

Bus rapid transit systems that shift commuters to faster public systems take cars off the road, create jobs, and reduce pollution that damages health and contributes to climate change. Photo credit: Sam Zimmerman/World Bank

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • With careful design, the same development projects that improve communities, save lives, and increase GDP can also fight climate change.
  • A new study examines the multiple benefits for a series of policy scenarios addressing transportation and energy efficiency in buildings and industry in five countries and the European Union.
  • It provides concrete data to help policymakers understand the broader potential of climate-smart development investments.

Continue reading here.

 

0

B.C. Climate Action Plan 2.0?

In case you weren’t poring over government news releases on the Monday before Canada Day, you might have missed B.C.’s 2014 Climate Progress Report. This is the sort of release time slot typically reserved for bad news that governments don’t want to draw attention to. Instead, while the Climate Progress Report has some controversial elements, it’s predominantly positive news that merits attention.

Making progress

Carbon pollution was reported to be six per cent lower in 2012 (the most recent data available) relative to 2007, when B.C.’s Climate Action Plan came into effect. This six per cent drop aligns with B.C.’s first interim climate target.

Just as important, government policy has helped achieve that outcome — and it has happened while encouraging innovation and economic growth in the province. This means that government policies — like the carbon tax and a ban on dirty coal-fired electricity — are working to reduce carbon pollution.

The province isn’t alone in praising the effectiveness of its climate change policies. Research from Sustainable ProsperityUniversity of Ottawa and the OECD among others has found that the carbon tax is helping to reduce carbon pollution in B.C.

“We have done well, but have many challenges to face, and more action will be needed to move from each target to the next.” — B.C. 2014 Climate Action Report. Photo credit: BC Gov Photos on Flickr.

However, claiming to have met its 2012 interim target isn’t without controversy because one quarter of the reductions are from the government investing in forest offsets. In a 2013 audit, B.C.’s Auditor General criticized the credibility of two major offset projects (one of which was forest-based), so there will be legitimate questions about the credibility of the offsets being used to meet the target.

While the role of offsets in B.C.’s climate strategy should be discussed, that discussion shouldn’t detract from the progress that has been achieved. With or without offsets, government policies are helping to achieve modest cuts in carbon pollution levels in a way that works with provincial economic objectives.

Continue reading here.

 

0

Creative ways cities can fight the climate change ‘slow tsunami’

estuary-maine-spiritofamerica-sstockWhen it comes to climate change impacts, estuaries are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine. These unique habitats, which are also home to 22 of the world’s 32 largest cities and are essential hubs for global commerce, face not just the threat posed by rising sea levels, but also a complex nexus of increasing storm risks, droughts, water and air pollution and marine dead zones.

However, these escalating environmental risks also have helped establish estuaries as centers for what Maggie White of the International Secretariat for Water and her colleague Philip Enquist of SOM Architecture describe as a “new generation of civil engineering” — an emerging school of thought that recognizes how the natural habitats of the past could be key to delivering the climate resilience we will need in the future.

So-called eco-engineering concepts never have been more popular and delegates gathered at the Global Estuaries Forum in Deauville, France, last week heard of a host of examples from around the world where developers and city planners are using natural engineering phenomena to reduce flood risks and improve water quality. There is certainly a need for them.

Moreover, only 4 percent of the world’s 500 largest developing world cities, many of which are facing the most severe climate impacts, are deemed investment grade and creditworthy, making raising the capital necessary for climate resilience projects extremely challenging. The financing issue may be less acute in developed nations, but even here government austerity programs have meant numerous countries have seen flood defence budgets cut. All of which means that the appeal of eco-engineering concepts that use lower cost measures such as mudflats, reed beds, and sand bars rather than hard engineering levees and sea walls is growing fast, not least because these new approaches are not just cheaper, they are often more effective as well.

Continue reading here to learn more about eco-engineering projects in the Netherlands and in Toronto.

0

First Announcement: APEC Climate Symposium 2014

The APEC Climate Center is delighted to present the First Announcement for the APEC Climate Symposium 2014, which can be accessed at http://www.apcc21.org/eng/acts/prosym/ann/japcc020101.jsp.

This document provides more information about the theme, goals, and program of the event. The theme of this year’s symposium is “Managing climate extremes and hydrologic disasters: Scientific prediction and emergency preparedness”.

Where: Nanjing, China

When: October 27-29, 2014

As with previous APCC events, this symposium will present the latest scientific and technological developments in climate prediction and climate information applications. The event will bring scientists and researchers together with representatives from government agencies, NGOs, and the private sector in order to foster a collaborative dialogue on water-related disaster management. The 3-day conference will include presentations on Climate Forecasting for Water Management, Managing Risk from Droughts and Water Scarcity, Changes in Hydrological Extremes: Floods and Typhoons, and Climate Impacts on Water Quality.

Approximately 100 international and local participants will attend the symposium.

Please circulate this First Announcement among your professional network and encourage talented researchers and scientists to submit abstracts.

Please feel free to contact Ms. Sooyang Joo (syjoo@apcc21.org) or Mr. Joseph Larsen (joelarsen@apcc21.org) if you would like to request more information about this year’s symposium.

Hope to see you in Nanjing!

0

‘Good planets are hard to find’

james_orbinski.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterbox

Dr. James Orbinsky views climate change here, now, as a huge threat to human well-being. “The science is unequivocal, but we don’t even need scientists to tell us our weather is changing,” he says. Photo credit: LUCAS OLENIUK / TORONTO STAR

The following is an edited interview by Ken Dryden, published in The Star, with Dr. James Orbinski, former president of Médecins Sans Frontières; CIGI chair in global health at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. Big doer, big feeler, big thinker.

You have spent much of your professional life outside Canada. With MSF in Peru, Somalia, Afghanistan, Rwanda and Zaire, during famine, civil war and genocide. You took time back in Canada, as you once put it, to get your “feet back on the ground.” How do you see Canada and the world today?

I don’t see things as “Canada and the world.” It’s Canada in the world. I don’t see us as somehow separate, somehow removed. “In the world” means being an active participant in the mutual construction of our destiny. It means assuming responsibility when as a nation or as an individual or as an institution one is able to respond meaningfully. And it means not simply responding, but also shaping, which means engaging, with a view to changing and making better our world so that it’s more just, more fair, more equitable.

So if one isn’t in the world, how does that change things?

One would always be a junior player, and always have the option of not playing. But life is a participatory sport, not a spectator sport. You live in the doing. You need purpose.

One of the most beautiful elements of our country is its diversity. Our racial diversity, our cultural diversity, our linguistic diversity, our geographic diversity. I was just in Victoria and the physical beauty of our country is literally breathtaking. And here each of us has the freedom to go anywhere, and to choose to make that place our home. This vast and diverse country – from prairie to mountain, to tundra, to the Canadian Shield, to the ice floats of northern Canada – is part of our being, part of our DNA. This geographic diversity is connected to the diversity of our people. Thirteen per cent of all marriages in Canada are interracial – I think it’s the highest in the world. I’m married – mine is an interracial marriage and it is so normal as part of our culture it’s not even honoured. It’s just the way it is. This way of being allows us to go beyond difference and to find common purpose, and to find common purpose around common problems.

My experience internationally has helped me to see what it is about our beautiful Canadian society that is so powerful. I think it has everything to do with diversity in all of its forms: geographic, cultural, linguistic, spiritual.

Here we have a framework, both legal and normative, that allows this diversity to thrive.

What does this mean for us in the future? What role can we play in the world?

I’d like to rephrase your question. What role must we play? This is not an option. We are in the world. The world is in us. We cannot choose to retreat or choose not to participate. We must consciously be in the world. That means re-engaging in our multilateral system, with all of its challenges and failures. We must do so seriously, with appropriate commitment of our intellectual resources, our diplomatic and financial resources to engage in the shaping of our global, multilateral system.

There are huge challenges internationally. We’re at the tail end of a global financial crisis. We’re in the midst of a global food crisis, a fuel crisis, and most importantly a crisis in governance; in global governance. There are also security challenges, whether it’s nuclear proliferation or the rise of Al Qaeda and now ISIS – and these crises are very much related, one to the other.

If this is a role we must play, are you saying in fact, we’re also well-suited to play it?

That’s exactly what I’m saying. There are certain parts of our Canadian mythology that are actually quite true. One of them is that we hold no colonial baggage. We have been seen, until fairly recently, as an independent, fair and honest broker. That doesn’t mean being “apolitical,” or being “neutral in all things,” Absolutely not. But it does mean being open-minded, seeking wisdom, being open to new ideas, being humble, but also being bold. It is a paradox but great humility can lead to great boldness, because humility allows you to see things differently.

What is it today in the world that we really must see?

The biggest issue is climate change. The world’s leading medical journal has said that it is the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century. We’ve already passed several critical thresholds. The science is unequivocal, but we don’t even need scientists to tell us our weather is changing. We have floods, again, in Alberta. A hurricane swept through Guelph. The march of the pine beetle across Canada, from B.C. through Alberta, has left a wake of dead, brown trees that are igniting into wildfires at an increasing frequency.

West Nile virus, never seen here before the year 2000, has infected more than 21,000 people in Canada and the U.S., killed more than 800 people, and left many thousands in permanent states of morbidity. This is a direct consequence of climate change. Lyme disease is sweeping through the continent, again driven by climate change. In 2011, draught and famine across East Africa meant that 13 million people were in need of food assistance, and 500,000 died.

A mere 10 years from now, crop yields in some parts of Africa are expected to fall by 50 per cent and water stress could affect as many as 250 million Africans. Exactly the same pattern is true for Central America and Southeast Asia. Climate change is here and we need to face up to it, and we need to stop, not only not participating, but scuttling other countries’ efforts to deal with it. So many of the other crises swirl around its reality. Our international financial crisis, our food crisis, our fuel crisis, they’re all inter-related, and the common solution rests in how we concretely address the issue of climate change, and how urgently we do so.

I’m working with the United Nations now to develop disaster preparedness scenarios, early warning systems that incorporate a health focus for communities that are facing extreme weather events.

These events have implications for infectious disease. As humidity patterns change, so too the vector patterns of mosquitoes, and therefore too the incidence of malaria and of other vector-born diseases like African sleeping sickness. It has implications for food security, for water, and for how we approach appropriate sanitation.

It has implications for urban versus rural environments. The world’s population has become increasingly more urbanized; in the developing world, squatter centres and slums in major urban centres grow with more population and even less infrastructure, and how one approaches infectious disease, food security, water sanitation, from a public health and a clinical health perspective, has to change.

This is what my research is focused on. But as I do that, something else is becoming profoundly clear to me – good planets, even those that are a bit damaged, are hard to find. There’s no escape from our biosphere. It’s the only place that we live. Yet we’re changing it so that it’s unlivable for many, especially those who’re the poorest.

The biosphere is not a problem to be solved. It’s a living being to which we belong, and we need to somehow re-imagine ourselves in relationship to it. We are part of it and it is part of us. We’re the proverbial frog in the cooking pot, but we’re turning up the heat on ourselves. We’ve got to change our way of seeing.

It really does require wisdom. It requires a genuine humility, a willingness to stand in awe of our beautiful world and be humble in relation to it. At the same time to have the courage to be creative and ambitious in how we approach new carbon-neutral or carbon-negative technologies.

It also requires us to be very, very determined in finding a common solution to our common purpose as human beings.

To go back to where we began: there is something particular about our perspective as Canadians, and it is rooted in our diversity and our common experience of diversity. There’s something particular about it that we have to bring to the world’s table.

We’ve seen it with cigarette companies, with lead companies; in sports on concussions, it’s what leagues do. They don’t need to prove their own case, because none of us wants the alternative to be true. They create doubt – that’s all – and we hang on to doubt because everything is easier that way. But without jump-in-both-feet commitment nothing happens. How do we do better on climate change?

Scientists are not political animals. They take great comfort in the certainty of their methodologies and in recognizing the limitations of them. The consensus of the International Panel on Climate Change is telling us unequivocally that the threat we now face is catastrophic and unprecedented. Yet we often confuse the unprecedented with the improbable.

From my perspective, I’m not willing to expend one more calorie of energy on the debate about climate change. The issue is absolutely clear. We have simply got to move into appropriate mitigation, adaptation and resilience strategies, and we’ve got to do it now.

My work is very much around disaster preparedness to extreme weather events. But really it needs to be about a new way of seeing, and from that a new way of being in relationship to each other and also in relationship to our biosphere.

I think art will be extremely important to help us come to this new understanding. It’s not going to arise through more intellectual debate. The beauty of art is it helps us see a phenomenon and ourselves differently. Art has many forms, and we need language and story and culture to express and give shape to a new story where we can see ourselves, where we can find ourselves, and where we can make ourselves for the future.

What is it that keeps you up at night with excitement? What is it that keeps you up at night with anxiety?

In my life I’ve seen war and its crimes, famine, epidemic disease. I’ve seen genocide. I know exactly what we can be, and how we can fail. I’ve also seen incredibly beautiful creations, incredibly beautiful human creations. Whether they’re forms of government, whether they’re in science or art, whether they’re in our social policies or our problem-solving strategies. And I’ve seen and continued to live in this wonderful daily gift that is life.

Somewhere in here is choice, and as human beings, we have the ability, if we’ll just wake up, to see that we can make choice. I know that choice means an active engagement and a participation. It needs effort.

Your kids will be living another 70 years or more. What do you hope for them? What is possible for them?

My wife and I talk about this a lot. Much of what is possible for our children depends on what we as parents, but also as citizens, do today. For our children to be the kind of people we hope they will be is rooted in the values they grow up in. We hope they will hold them as precious. But the environment surrounding the family is also important. To participate in issues of importance, as defined by each of us, or by virtue of circumstance. To hold certain roles as precious, the most important, the one beyond our personal relations as mother, father, brother, sister, friend — our role as citizen. In and for our community, whether it’s local or whether it’s global. And no matter what happens our children will have their Canadian legacy. It has done us pretty well in our short history as a nation. We’ve made some mistakes but with our values we can discover our mistakes and correct them.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Yes, one thing, Happy Birthday, Canada, and many more.

____

PUBLICATION: Toronto Star

PAGE: A8

DATE: 2014.07.01

SECTION: News

EDITION: ONT

BYLINE: Ken Dryden Special to The Star

COPYRIGHT: © 2014 Torstar Corporation

 

 

0

Climate change: Implications for employment

Key findings from the intergovernmental panel on climate change fifth assessment report

Publication date: 2014

Number of pages: 20

Author(s): Mike Scott, freelance journalist

The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the most comprehensive and relevant analysis of our changing climate. It provides the scientific fact base that will be used around the world to formulate climate policies in the coming years.

This guide is one of a series of summaries of the AR report for stakeholders synthesising the most pertinent findings of AR5 for workers and employment. It was born of the belief that trade unions could make more use of AR5, which is long and highly technical, if it were distilled into an accurate, accessible, timely, relevant and readable summary.

Download the report for FREE here.

0

Deep Decarbonization Pathways

The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) is a collaborative initiative to understand and show how individual countries can transition to a low-carbon economy and how the world can meet the internationally agreed target of limiting the increase in global mean surface temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius (°C). Achieving the 2°C limit will require that global net emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) approach zero by the second half of the century. In turn, this will require a profound transformation of energy systems by mid-century through steep declines in carbon intensity in all sectors of the economy, a transition we call “deep decarbonization.”

 

 

0

CLOUDBURST ADAPTATION: A COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS

Ramboll Cloudburst mitigation imageThis report, by Ramboll, outlines results from a socio-economic cost benefit analysis. The analysis is based on alternative solutions to address heavy precipitation events associated with climate change for the municipalities of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg.

Read the report here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

Innovative Tools and Planning Methodologies Showcase Announced for the 2014 Rising Seas Summit


Screenshot 2014-07-11 15.33.12

 

Over 40 Speakers & 60 Participant Organizations Already Confirmed

The draft program agenda for the 2014 Rising Seas Summit is now published at http://www.risingseassummit.org/agenda.html

 

When: September 24-26, 2014

Where: New York City

Innovative Tools and Planning Methodologies Showcase Announced

Presenters from the National Climate Assessment, Climate Central, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and leading engineering firms will provide guidance on leveraging data from recent reports and publicly available tools to support planning for adaptation and resilience to sea level rise.  These showcases will be conducted during the pre-conference (September 24) and post-conference (September 26) sessions.  Additional information will be published in the coming weeks.

Confirmed Speakers & Instructors

The following individuals are already confirmed to participate in the 2014 Rising Seas Summit.  Additional presenters and keynote speakers will be announced shortly.

  • Deborah Harford – Executive Director, Adaptation to Climate Change Team, Simon Fraser University
  • Christine Ackerson – Senior Manager, Sustainability & CSR, LG Electronics USA
  • Larry Atkinson – Professor, Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography, Old Dominion University
  • Pinar Balci – Director, Bureau of Environmental Planning and Analysis, New York City Department of Environmental Protection
  • Kelly Burks-Copes – Ecologist, Ecological Resources Branch, Ecosystem Evaluation and Engineering Division, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Develop Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Anne Choate – Vice President, ICF International
  • NEW: Peter Dailey – Senior Vice President, Verisk Climate
  • NEW: Margaret Davidson – Acting Director, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Olga Dominguez – Retired, Assistant Administrator, Office of Strategic Infrastructure, U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • NEW: Kevin Donnelly – Assistant Commissioner, Wastewater Capital Program, New York City Department of Environmental Protection
  • John Englander – Author, High Tide on Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis
  • Joan Fitzgerald – Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University
  • Melanie Fitzpatrick – Climate Scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Rebecca Flora – Sustainable Communities Practice Leader, Ecology and Environment, Inc.
  • NEW: Grover Fugate – Executive Director, Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council
  • NEW: Michael Gerard – Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia Law School
  • NEW: Nancy Girard – Commissioner, Department of Environment, City of Boston
  • Daniel Goelzer – Partner, Baker & McKenzie LLP
  • William Golden – Executive Director, National Institute for Coastal and Harbor Infrastructure
  • NEW: Brian Helmuth – Professor, Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences and School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University
  • Radley Horton – Associate Research Scientist, Center for Climate Systems Research, Columbia University Earth Institute
  • NEW: Caroline Lewis – Executive Director, The CLEO Institute
  • NEWAlice Lippert – Senior Technical Advisor, Energy Infrastructure Modeling and Analysis, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Susan Love – Planner, Delaware Coastal Management Program
  • Emilie Mazzacurati – Managing Director, Four Twenty Seven LLC
  • Michael Mondshine – Vice President, Sustainability & Energy, WSP Group
  • Margery Moore – Director, EHS Alliances, Bloomberg BNA
  • Joshua Murphy – Senior Spatial Analyst, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Rich Olson – Professor and Director of Extreme Events Research, Office of the Vice President for Research, Florida International University
  • NEWSteven Patarcity – Senior Analyst & Strategic Plans Officer, Office of the Chief, U.S. Army Reserve
  • Margaret Peloso – Attorney, Vinson & Elkins LLP
  • Emily Seyller – Inform Decisions & Adaptation Science Program Manager, U.S. Global Change Research Program
  • Nick Shufro – Director, Sustainable Business Solutions, PwC
  • Ben Strauss – Vice President, Climate Impacts, Climate Central
  • NEWCarter Strickland – Vice President, Water & Natural Resources Program Manager, HDR
  • Halldor Thorgeirsson – Director for Implementation Strategy, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • Susanne Torriente – Assistant City Manager, City of Fort Lauderdale
  • Caitlin Werrell – Co-Director, Center for Climate and Security
  • Adam Whelchel – Director of Science, The Nature Conservancy
  • NEW: Jeff Williams – Director, Climate Consulting, Entergy

About the Rising Seas Summit

The 2014 Rising Summit will be held in conjunction with Climate Week New York and in partnership with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  Understanding, anticipating and adapting to water related threats is critical to national security and a stable economy. Sea level rise will continue to damage coastal ecosystems and inland water systems, and the recent catastrophic impacts of Hurricane Sandy have demonstrated the risks faced by all coastal communities on the U.S. eastern seaboard. These new environmental challenges require that stakeholders share knowledge and work together to reduce and mitigate environmental and social degradation induced by climate change.

For more information about this program,
please contact Melissa Lembke at 202-496-7390.

0

Insurers zero in on flood-prone areas

calgary-flood

CBC reports on a new tool to help municipalities set priorities in spending on stormwater sewers

After a year in which it paid nearly $1 billion in claims in Ontario and $1.7 billion in Alberta because of natural disasters, the insurance industry is testing out a new tool that will help identify where municipalities might direct their money so future flooding does not do as much damage.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is testing out a system called Municipal Risk Assessment Tool (MRAT) that will identify the streets that will be hardest hit in a storm. Created with the help of engineers and geologists, it combines information about the age and condition of municipal infrastructure, current and future climate, soil quality and past insurance claims.

Three cities —? Coquitlam, B.C., Hamilton, Ont., and Fredericton, N.B. — are participating in a pilot with the tool this year. The idea is to test whether MRAT – essentially, a series of maps that highlight areas where basement flooding is most likely — is effective in giving city engineers a new picture of where infrastructure is vulnerable today and where it will be vulnerable in 2020 and in 2050.

According to Bill Adams, IBC vice-president for the Western and Pacific region, IBC aims to roll the diagnostic tool out to cities across Canada once it has been tested and refined and will not use it as a way of deciding where premiums should rise.

Read the full article here.

0

EPA releases new policy statement on climate change adaptation

On Monday, June 30, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a new policy statement on climate change adaptation to help the nation prepare for and respond to the impacts of a changing climate. The policy commits the Agency to work with states, tribes, and local communities to increase their resilience to extreme weather events and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

EPA’s policy is consistent with the President’s Climate Action Plan and Executive Order 13653 on Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change, which calls on the federal government to strengthen the adaptive capacity of its programs and operations. The new policy updates the EPA policy first issued in June 2011, and includes the following directives:

• Modernize EPA financial assistance program to encourage climate-resilient investments;

• Provide information, tools, training and technical support for climate change preparedness and resilience;

• Implement priority actions identified in EPA’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan and Implementation Plans;

• Focus on the most vulnerable people and places;

• Measure and evaluate performance of climate adaptation actions;

• Continue EPA planning for climate change-related risk; and

• Coordinate with other federal agencies

To read EPA’s Climate Change Adaptation Policy, go to  http://epa.gov/climatechange/impacts-adaptation/fed-programs.html

The above article was posted Jun. 30, 2014 @ 2:33 pm in Lake News Online.

0

Miami-Dade Sea Level Rise Task Force: Reinvent Urban Infrastructure or Lose Trillions


SeaLevelRiseMiami
In the report’s introductory letter, Task Force Chair Harvey Ruvin, Miami-Dade clerk of the courts, describes sea level rise as a “measurable, trackable, and relentless” consequence of climate change that, lacking “innovative adaptive capital planning,” will “threaten trillions of dollars of the region’s built environment” as well as its water supply, natural resources, agricultural soils, and basic economy.

The Task Force was created by the County Commission in July 2013 to “review the relevant data and prior studies” to provide a “comprehensive and realistic assessment of the likely and potential [future] impacts of sea level rise.”

The Task Force report concludes with a “follow the money” warning:

With trillions of dollars of built environment and invaluable natural resources at stake in the region, the economic imperative to take action sooner rather than later is clear. WE BELIEVE THAT WITHOUT A PROFESSIONALLY WELL THOUGHT OUT ADAPTATION PLAN IN PLACE, WE RISK LOSING INSURABILITY AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR OUR FUTURE.

Read the full article here.

 

 

 

 

 

0

Canada Is Warming At Twice The Global Average And We Still Don’t Have A National Plan

Stephen Harper

 

Canada has been warming at roughly double the global average over the last six decades, setting the stage for dramatic changes to the economy, environment and our very way of life. But government and business have been slow to react and Canada still has no national plan to address climate change.

That’s the message in a new 259-page report from the federal government on how Canada is adapting to a warming world. And “adaptation” is the key word in the study. Rather than look for ways to slow down it down, Canada’s federal government appears focused on finding ways to deal with and even take advantage of climate change.

Read the full Huffington Post Canada  article by  here.

 

0

Missed a session at GLOBE 2014? Check out the video’s online

Missed a session at GLOBE 2014? Check out the following session recordings now available on our website:
  • Opening Plenary: Embracing a Global Greener Economy
  • Creating Chemistry for a Sustainable Future
  • Clean Energy Trends: What’s Driving the Industry Forward?
  • Climate Action: Delay is Not an Option
  • Innovation and the Clean Technology Future
  • Next Generation Cities:  Smarter, Faster, Better
  • Pathways for a Strong Global Economy
  • Bringing Sustainability Disclosure Into Focus
  • Corporate Responsibility in a New Age of Transparency
  • Emerging Drivers of the Circular Economy
  • Natural Capital: Paying for What We Take From Nature
  • Canada’s Energy Strategy
  • The Global Energy Mix: Opportunities and Realities

PLUS a number of candid speaker interviews.

Page 30 of 65« First...1020...2829303132...405060...Last »